NEW YORK – America Tamil Sangam honored an eminent educationist of India, BKK Pillai, for her five decades of service to the cause of promoting Indian education and instilling moral values in the minds of children.
At a function held in Queens, New York, Bagalakumari Kumarasamy Pillai, affectionately called by her students and parents as ‘aunty’, was felicitated by the Sangam, and presented with a ‘Professional Excellence Award’ in recognition of her tireless service to education, according to a press release.
Pillai, Chairperson and Correspondent of Shrine Vailankanni Group of Schools in Chennai, a fifth generation teacher, has been educating children for the past 50 years.
She is the daughter of founders Panickers and has been working in the school along with her parents from the beginning. A Bharatanatyam dancer, she has served as a member of the Tamil Nadu Matriculation Board.
Known for her philanthropic work, she is also the founder of Vailankanni schools in Valasarawakkam and Anna Nagar in Chennai, Tiruchi, and Pondicherry. The school never collects any capitation fee for admission but imparts free education to deserving students. The function was also organized to welcome John Kingsly, a Tamil IAS officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre, who took over as Regional Director of Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) – Ministry of Commerce, Government of India – and posted in New York last month.
Kingsly, who also served as Joint Director of Enforcement Directorate was awarded President of India’s award for procurement reforms that has been a case study at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration in Missouri.
Manasa T. Pillai, Principal of Shrine Vailankanni Global School in Chennai, said the only global school in the heart of the city is on a 15,000 square feet campus with the state of the art 32 air-conditioned digital classrooms, international standard play area, and auditorium. Languages offered include Korean, French, Spanish, Hindi, and Tamil.
This school caters to not just the cream of the society but to Koreans, Japanese, British, and Americans who are employed in the city, she said. John Joseph, Chairman of the Sangam praised the services of two distinguished guests and honored them with a traditional shawl as a symbol of respect.